You’re the best, Go Doo Shim~
While I’m all for IU-JJS’s budding love line, bread, fried chicken and sister heroines in this drama, I still can’t help agreeing with
this article, by Senior Reporter Yoo In Kyung for Sports Kyunghyang.
Her eager eyes · choking voiceㆍwrinkles… are all part of the beauty of Go Doo Shim, who’s currently “‘Woori Omma” (our favorite mum)… you’re the best, Go Do Shim!
KBS weekend drama <You’re the Best, Lee Soon Shin> seems to be a drama that’s lacking somewhat. Despite its average ratings of more than 20%, it does not seem to be able to outshine its predecessor star dramas like <My Husband Got a Family> and <My Daughter Seo Young>. Within it’s birth secret storyline, while there isn’t a “vengeful Wild Rose Candy girl” in the making, the rise of its female lead who’s out to overcome all odds is pretty cliche too. With no dreams, no skills, no exceptional good looks, the unemployed IU captures the heart of Jo Jung Suk, CEO of a talent agency and also son of a hospital director – a loveline that isn’t very convincing either. IU is still an acting newbie, while Jo Jung Suk as agency CEO-hospital director son is quite different for an audience who is still not quite over his character Nab-deukie in <Architecture 101>. The sponsors ( #1 , #2, #3 etc) of the shooting locations are blatantly portrayed as well, while the filmography and pace of the drama is of similar quality to typical weekend dramas (i.e. not very high, not particularly urgent, respectively ^^ )
But the scenes that’s mesmerizing the viewers are those where Go Doo Shim appear in. When someone says, “Go Doo Shim acts well”, it’s equivalent to someone making a remark like “Cho Yong Pil sings well.” Simple words, but how very true they are. Go Doo Shim’s acting as a mother is what brings this show to life.
▲Betrayal·Rage·Pity and other complicated emotions, realistic acting as a culmination of 40 years of acting refinement …
Just one word, just one expression, and drama viewers weep along with her
“As expected of the goddess of acting” so the praises say
Being in various “Korean mother” roles in all kinds of dramas, Go Doo Shim is an expert in portraying maternal love. Especially in this drama, Go Doo Shim impressed viewers with her acting range as she showed the believable and detailed psychological swings experienced by a very typical mother whose life suddenly goes into a rollercoaster trip of shocking revelations: her husband’s sudden death in a traffic accident, her eldest daughter’s divorce from a seemingly good marriage, and her youngest daughter’s unthinkable birth secret.
In <You’re the Best, Lee Soon Shin>, Go Doo Shim takes on the role of Kim Jung Ae, a housewife in her 50s. She lived a typical middle class life, bringing up 3 daughters together with a loving husband, living under the same roof as her widowed mother-in-law. The drama starts with her encouraging her youngest daughter Lee Soon Shim (IU) to be an actress, and they ended up being cheated of 2 million won by a swindler. Her husband (Jung Dong Hwan) then dies in a traffic accident after a meeting with his first love Song Mi Ryung (Lee Mi Sook). With the demise of the family’s breadwinner, Kim jung Ae goes out to work as a cleaner in order to repay her daughter’s debt after being swindled. Family secrets then begin unravelling, as her eldest daughter (Son Tae Young) returns home with her daughter after divorcing her adulturous husband; and snowballs when she struggles to come to terms with the possibility that youngest daughter Soon Shin-ie was not an orphan but the child of her husband and his first love, Song Mi Ryung.
A husband’s betrayal, seething hatred of Song Mi Ryung, mixed emotions of rage, love and pity for her youngest adopted daughter (who is assumed to be the love child between her husband and his first love Song Mi Ryung) – perfectly portrayed from Go Doo Shim’s honing of her acting craft for over 40 years.
Instead of focusing her emotions on resentment for her husband, Go Doo Shim was more worried for her youngest daughter, who was raised as an adopted orphaned child often being despised by others, and who could face the possibility of more ostrasizing when she is revealed to be the biological daughter of her husband. Go Doo Shim was also equally pained with the thought about how much the girl would be shocked and hurt when her actual parentage was revealed. The extent of Go Doo Shim’s maternal love is so deep, even if it was King Solomon making his judgement about which of two mothers were the real mothers of a child by declaring that the child will be split in two, he would have declared Go Doo Shim the real mother.
With sagging shoulders and pleading eyes, voice filled with wavering unease, filled with the nagging fear that her daughter will find out the truth and get hurt, or the many lies to boost her daughter’s confidence, the moment Go Doo Shim lashed at Lee Mi Sook, “Can you call yourself a mother?”, tears can’t help but well up in viewers’ eyes as the scene gripped their hearts.
Another significant scene is when Go Doo Shim wanted to demand Lee Mi Sook to cancel the impending press conference revealing her daughter’s existence, in order to prevent Soon Shin from getting hurt. Lee Mi Sook rejected her demands, retorting, “Don’t you think you are hurting Soon Shin as well, by working as a lowly part-timer in a restaurant?” Unflinching, Go Doo Shim replied, “Don’t hurt my daughter. Ever. Just give it a try, and I’ll never let you off.”
When she brought IU out for a date, and visited her husband’s tomb, she finally confessed to her daughter, her face full of regret and eyes barely holding back tears, “You have another mother, who gave birth to you.” Touched, many netizens revealed via real-time SNS comments such as:
“Go Doo Shim’s acting is really touching and sad”
“Without an actress with dignity, such as Teacher Go Doo Shim, who can soothe the hearts of all of us, I think life will be very hard.”
“Go Doo Shim is really the god of acting.”
“Every time I see Go Doo Shim, it hurts so much I want to cry.”
“<You’re the Best, Lee Soon Shin> is brought to life by Go Doo Shim.”
When asked about the praises, Go Doo Shim brushed it off with a laugh, “I hear it so often I’m going to get indigestion.” She is the one and only star who has received not just one, but a total of 5 yonggi daesang (Acting Grand Prizes), including those from the 3 main stations KBS, MBC and SBS. She received her first daesang in KBS drama <Fetters of Love> in 1989,
followed by MBC drama <The Dancing Gayat-go> in 1990 (above),
SBS drama <Deukie> in 2000, MBC drama <Han River Ballad> in 2004 (above), and KBS drama <More Beautiful Than A Flower>, also in 2004.
(Below) 3 of her most talked about works, from top: KBS2 <More Beautiful Than a Flower>, MBC <Dancing Gayat-go>, MBC <Jeonwon Diaries>
In <You’re the Best, Lee Soon Shin>, Go Doo Shim is not an actress who has extraordinary beauty or genius acting talent, like fellow actress Lee Mi Sook. She’s like Joseon celadon (a kind of white porcelain) – you do not get bored even if you see this actress repeatedly, and the more you see her, the more she shines. She was an ordinary trading company worker before she was applied for MBC’s 5th annual public talent recruitment drive in 1972, when she was 24. Although she was recruited, she was only cast in housewife or bar waitress roles, and if not, relegated totally at the sidelines, thus she continued her job in the trading company as well.
She gained prominence in <Reeds> before her big break came when she starred as the hysterical female lead in <Fetters of Love>, with her famous phrase, “You’re SO good!” In <Dancing Gayat-go>, she took on the role of famous gayageum (traditional Korean zither) player Lee Geum Hwa and established herself as one of the best actresses. 20 years later, she showed the essence of ordinary life with her realistic acting in <Jeonwon Diaries> as the eldest daughter-in-law of Chairman Kim’s household. Her most memorable work was writer Noh Hee Kyung’s <More Beautiful Than a Flower>, where she was abandoned by her husband and gave everything for her children, enduring pain all by herself before being diagnosed with dementia. The most heart-rending scene (below) was when she poured medicine on her chest, moaning, “My heart is hurting, my heart is hurting” — a scene so real that viewers often forget that it’s part of a drama.
This is the raw life force that Go Doo Shim injects into every role she is in. She says this is thanks to relentless practice and her ability to deeply immerse herself into a role.
“Before I filmed the drama <Han River Ballad>, I worked in a traditional market. In the show, my role was that of a fishmonger, so in order to learn the intricate details of protraying the role, I worked in a fish stall learning how to call out to customers, as well as the skills on how to slice the fish. Every time I participate in a work, I always sketch out the form of the character. Even when I’m brushing my teeth and looking at the mirror, I’m always thinking of how the character would portray what I was doing.”
Novelist Hwang Suk Young once said in a tribute to the actress, “She lives with the same intensity as she acts, the finest actress of our times.” A poet also said, “Go Doo Shim’s life bloomed beautifully in 2 ways. First is her passion for acting, the other is her sincerity for living.”
She does not undergo plastic surgery to attempt to look young, in fact she does not try to look beautiful too – nevertheless, Go Doo Shim’s beauty shows through the actress’ devotion to be perfect in her role. And thus this thought comes naturally to mind – “You’re the best, Go Doo Shim”.
More interviews – by SBS Healing Camp and Chosun Ilbo